World Health Organization (WHO) latest data shows that there have been more than 241 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 4.9 million+ deaths worldwide. Given these figures, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat.
Moreover, unvaccinated individuals and high-risk populations are more likely to suffer from severe illness and mortality.
What Are the Risk Factors of Covid-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is described as an illness caused by a novel coronavirus. It was initially reported in Wuhan, China, after an outbreak of respiratory illness cases. The disease spread quickly around the world, becoming a global pandemic.
COVID-19 can affect either the upper or lower respiratory tracts (sinuses, nose, throat, windpipe, and lungs). Like other coronaviruses, it is primarily spread by human-to-human contact (droplets from sneezing, coughing, or when talking). The severity of the infection can range from mild to fatal.
COVID-19 can cause a higher risk of severe illness to anyone with the following conditions and type of lifestyle. If a person has several underlying medical conditions, their risk of developing severe COVID-19 also increases. Furthermore, older patients, particularly those 65 years and older with comorbidities and who are infected, have the worst prognosis.
It is more common for people with type 2 diabetes to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) and remain there longer than people without diabetes. Why? It causes more inflammation, and as blood sugar levels rise, the immune system becomes less capable of fighting a virus.
You are less likely to become seriously ill from COVID-19 if you have well-controlled diabetes. Moreover, if you are at risk for diabetes, we recommend reading our blog about diabetes and how to prevent it.
Airway and lung illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary embolism, and bronchiectasis can all predispose patients to a more severe infection with the virus due to inflammation, scarring, or pulmonary damage.
People with heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, or high blood pressure (hypertension), are at greater risk for being severely ill from COVID-19. While COVID-19 most often affects the airways and lungs, these organs operate in tandem with the heart to transport oxygen to the body’s tissues. Because the lungs are overworked, the heart has to work harder, causing heart patients’ complications.
Individuals who suffer from obesity are more likely to have chronic conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes that operate as independent risk factors for severe COVID-19 infections. Obesity also has many adverse effects, such as low immunity, chronic inflammation, and blood clotting, increasing the risk of COVID-19 infection. Furthermore, it causes abdominal fat to push up towards the diaphragm. This may limit airflow to the lungs, causing breathlessness or difficulty breathing. COVID-19 could add to this difficulty.
People with cancer are more likely to develop serious COVID-19 problems, as cancer treatments impair the body’s ability to fight infection.
Chronic liver or kidney disease
Chronic liver or kidney disease can impair your immune system, putting you at greater risk of COVID-19 infection. In addition, severe COVID-19 symptoms and treating the condition with drugs may harm the liver.
Weakened Immune System
Immunocompromised individuals have a weakened immune system that cannot combat infectious diseases. As a result, the body cannot fight the infection. People with immunocompromised conditions are more susceptible to respiratory infections, which can lead to complications with COVID-19. Conditions that weaken the immune system include:
- Long-term smokers
- Having organ transplants and bone marrow transplants
- Long-term use of prednisone or similar drugs weakens your immune system
While most people who contract the virus recover within a few weeks, some individuals develop post-COVID complications. The term “post-COVID” or long COVID long-haul COVID refers to various ongoing, new, or recurring symptoms that patients may have four weeks or more after their first infection with the virus.
Even if a person does not exhibit COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks following an infection, these problems can arise and manifest in various ways and for varying durations of time. Here are some common long-haul symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- fatigue or exhaustion
- Post-exercise malaise
- Inability to concentrate or think clearly
- Chest or stomach pain
- Heart palpitations
- Joint or muscle pain
- Chronic cough
- Pins-and-needles feeling
- Sleep problems
- Mood changes
- Change in smell or taste
- Changes in menstrual period cycles
The Best Ways to Prevent COVID-19
The best way to prevent the worst outcomes and post-COVID conditions is to prevent COVID-19 illness. People who are eligible for the vaccination should do so as soon as possible to avoid contracting the virus and protect others. Along with the vaccine, the following steps should still be taken, especially for at-risk groups:
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated areas.
- Keep 6 feet apart from anyone who does not live with you.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Lastly, consume a healthy diet, along with vitamin and mineral supplements to strengthen immunity. (most especially vitamin C, D, and zinc)
COVID-19 is most likely to cause the most harm to those with comorbid conditions such as obesity and diabetes, so addressing the chronic illness is the most effective way to reduce its impact. If you suffer from comorbid conditions, speak to your physician about the implications for COVID-19. You should maintain preventive care and schedule routine appointments with your healthcare provider.
Reduce Your Risk of Covid-19
As people with comorbidities are more likely to develop severe COVID-19 symptoms, preventative measures are more important. Getting expert medical help to reverse or manage your chronic condition prevents infection and improves the quality of your life.
Here at Premier Health & Wellness Center, we offer medically supervised weight management programs, diabetes reversal programs , and vitamin therapy to help you combat Covid-19 infection risks and outcomes! Call us at 441-292-5111 or schedule an appointment online to get started!, and vitamin therapy to help you combat Covid-19 infection risks and outcomes! Call us at 441-292-5111 or schedule an appointment online to get started!